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Community service for statue vandals who attacked police

Community service for statue vandals who attacked police

Friday 31 July 2020

Community service for statue vandals who attacked police


Two 20-year-old men have been handed 120 hours of community service for maliciously damaging a statue on Queen Street, before attacking a Police Officer.

Harry Rawnsley-Gurd and Adam Bellamy were also ordered to pay compensation after appearing in the Magistrate's Court this morning.

Bellamy pleaded guilty to malicious damage and assault on Police. Rawnsley-Gurd also pleaded guilty of resisting arrest and Bellamy pleaded guilty to escaping lawful custody. 

The sentencing followed an incident that took place in the early hours of Sunday 14 June during which the pair were caught on CCTV climbing scaffolding on La Motte Street, before walking towards Queen with one carrying a paint pot and the other a tube of scaffolding foam.

Bellamy could then be seen throwing paint towards the Les Jongleurs statue, located near Snow Hill. 

Les_Jongleurs_2.JPG

Pictured: The Jongleurs statue which was targeted.

Shortly after, a police officer arrived on the scene and asked both men for their names. They were both arrested and whilst the officer was holding each man by one of their arms, they “darted off in different directions”, the Court heard. 

The officer managed to get hold of Rawnsley-Gurd again and Bellamy started hitting him with the piece of scaffolding foam in the face, causing the officer’s glasses to fall off, becoming damaged “beyond repair”.

Meanwhile, Rawnsley-Gurd punched the officer in the face twice. 

Bellamy then ran away from the scene before doubling back and being arrested near Hilgrove Street.

arrest.jpg

Pictured: Both men were charged with resisting arrest.

Other officers soon arrived and helped arrest Rawnsley-Gurd, who had to be restrained with handcuffs and leg restraints, “due to the level of resistance and continued violence,” Advocate Lauren Hallam, prosecutor, said.

The Fire Service was then called to the area to help hose down the paint before it dried but further cleaning was later required at a cost of £193.63 to the Growth, Housing and Environment (GHE) Department. 

The pair said they had been drinking with friends the night before and had not planned their offences.

They stumbled upon the paint pot on La Motte Street and took it towards Queen Street, saying they had picked the Jongleurs statue “because it was there”.

Rawnsley-Gurd said he hadn’t intentionally assaulted the officer, describing his actions as “an effort to escape”. However, he admitted he had been frustrated by the incident and lashed out.

They said their actions were not linked to other events currently happening in the world, such as the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement which has seen statues targeted over their links to slave trade.

Rebecca Morley-Kirk

Pictured: Advocate Rebecca Morley-Kirk was representing Harry Rawnsley-Gurd.

Advocate Rebecca Morley-Kirk said her client, Rawnsley-Gurd, had had a “particulary difficult time” during the pandemic.

In addition to being under lockdown like other islanders, he was separated from his father, who lives in the US, and broke up with his girlfriend.

The night before the event, the lawyer said, was the first time he had been able to see his friends to have a drink outdoors. 

She said his actions had been due to a “combination of alcohol and ADHD”, after the pair “fortuitously” came upon the scaffolding and paint.

Advocate Morley-Kirk said he was very apologetic about hitting the police officer, explaining he had tried to resist after realising “what a terrible mistake” he had made and how it could affect his chances of getting a visa to go visit his dad.

She said Rawnsley-Gurd was “very apologetic” and had written a letter to the officer.

Mark_Boothman

Pictured: Advocate Mark Boothman was representing Adam Bellamy.

Advocate Mark Boothman said Bellamy was “remorseful and appalled” by his actions.

He added he clearly did not intend to hurt the officer with the foam pole and that he agreed to pay for his glasses.

The lawyer said his client ran way “in a moment of panic” before realising it was the wrong thing to do and turning back.

“He couldn’t be more ashamed as to his actions,” Advocate Boothman said, adding that Bellamy had written letters of remorse to the officer and court.

He described his client as a “hard worker and, until this incident, a well-behaved young man”, adding that his actions had taken place in a “moment of madness”.

“He is not a bad person and I don’t think he will ever come before the court again,” he added. 

Speaking following this morning's sentencing, Police Chief Inspector Craig Jackson said: “We take a zero tolerance approach to violence towards our officers, who are doing their job in very difficult circumstances.

"They should be able to carry out their duties of keeping public and property safe without the threat of being assaulted. Those that think it’s acceptable to assault police will feel the full force of the law.”

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Posted by Keith Marsh on
The standard of Jersey justice is getting laughable. I have no idea what planet the Magistrate was living on, but to give these two drunken louts 120 hours of community service for assault on a Police Officer; really is madness. Time for The States of Jersey to consider our Legal System and Terms of imprisonment; for what are serious crimes.
Posted by Valerie Payne on
Agree with Keith Marsh. Behave outrageously and only get community service- no deterrent whatsoever!
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